Michigan Wolverines Archive
(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson, UMHoops.com)
Coming into Sunday’s game against No. 10 Michigan, Indiana is aware there might not be a hotter team in the country than the Wolverines.
After losing by two points at home to Arizona on Dec. 14 to drop its record to 6-4 mark, Michigan has not lost. Coming into Bloomington on a 10-game winning streak, the Wolverines went undefeated in January and will look to win their ninth Big Ten game in a building where they have not won in since January 2009.
“No question they are a high-powered offensive machine,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “They are a tremendous help defensive team. They’ve got very good one-on-one defenders, but their help defense is very good.
“You can see their experience of their front line, really almost like captaining the defense, so to speak, with what they do, and everybody kind of fills in accordingly and the help defense is outstanding. You can’t stand around, you have to be in movement, and they are an incredible challenge.”
Even after the Wolverines lost starters Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA last season and lost sophomore big man Mitch McGary to injury, they have found new life this season. Sure, the beginning wasn’t necessarily smooth — a loss to Charlotte stained the Wolverines’ early-season résumé — and come Big Ten season, the Wolverines were unranked.
Tom Crean, Austin Etherington and Hanner Mosquera-Perea met with the media on Saturday afternoon to preview Sunday’s game with No. 10 Michigan.
Watch their comments in the media players below:
(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson, UMHoops.com)
Indiana will be back in Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon for a meeting with No. 10 and still unbeaten in the Big Ten Michigan in front of a national television audience.
The Wolverines are 16-4 overall and already have road wins at Wisconsin, Michigan State, Nebraska and Minnesota. The game will be broadcast on CBS at 1 p.m. ET and on the IU radio network (Sirius 85, XM 85):
The 2013-2014 season for Michigan has already been quite the roller coaster ride.
It started with high hopes as the Wolverines returned three starters and four key bench players from a team that went to the national championship game last April. The optimism took a hit early as Michigan started 6-4, fell from the national rankings and lost Mitch McGary for the season.
But since losing McGary, who was never fully healthy when he did see the floor this season, the Wolverines have gone unbeaten and are the favorites to win the Big Ten. This surge in Ann Arbor has drawn the ire of some IU fans who have argued that Michigan is actually less experienced than the Hoosiers when you look at KenPom’s experience rankings. This experience rank uses eligibility class weighted by minutes played.
Statistics can always be manipulated to advance a certain argument and in this case, that’s exactly what has taken place. Here’s the returning production for both teams, with McGary excluded:
This is presented not as an explanation of Indiana’s struggles or as an explanation for Michigan’s success, but a true illustration of what each team returned rather than an experience stat that fails to take actual production into consideration.
As for the game, which we’ll get into more below, it’s one that the Wolverines are favored to win, but Michigan hasn’t won in Assembly Hall since Tom Crean’s first season, when it needed overtime to do so. Michigan isn’t going undefeated in the Big Ten, but this is certainly a win the Wolverines are hoping to grab in order to keep pace ahead of Michigan State, the main competition on the road to a Big Ten title.
Rules are here, for those unfamiliar.
Yogi Ferrell was the pick to click winner for Illinois (game one), Michigan State (game one), Penn State, Wisconsin and Illinois (game two). Noah Vonleh was the winner for Northwestern and Michigan State (game two). Will Sheehey was the winner for Nebraska. Full standings through eight games are available here. (Note: Only those who have registered at least one correct pick are listed. Next update after 11 conference games.)
Pool for Michigan: All players are eligible to be picked.
Picks are due by 12:45 PM ET on Sunday.
A few reminders:
· State the name of the player (not a nickname) that you’re picking. If you use a nickname for a player, your pick will not be counted. Also, please state who you are picking as the first thing in your comment. We’re tracking hundreds of picks per game. It’s more difficult to keep track of everyone’s pick if it’s not the first thing in your comment.
· Please make sure you are using a valid e-mail address if you are not registered.
· Please make sure you are using the same name each time to pick if you are not registered. We are tracking wins by the name you use to submit your pick. If your name changes on a game-to-game basis, credit for your pick will be given to the name used to submit the pick.
With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we continue our look at the Big Ten with the Michigan Wolverines.
After a improbable run to the national championship game that ended in defeat to Louisville, Michigan is once again back on the national scene despite losing national player of the year Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA.
That’s largely because of the two guys pictured above, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III. Both turned down spots in the first round of June’s NBA Draft in favor of returning to Ann Arbor. Whether returning to school was the right decision was the right call for either guy with a monster 2014 draft looming is a debate for another day. The story for now is that Michigan has one of the best young duos in college basketball.
McGary’s monster NCAA tournament has landed him on plenty of preseason All-American lists despite an otherwise underwhelming freshman campaign. Over the season’s final six games, McGary averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and his presence transformed Michigan from a trendy upset pick to a national runner-up. Robinson, meanwhile, was one of the nation’s most efficient offensive players as a freshman. His offensive rating ranked 10th nationally and he shot 65.2 percent on 2-point field goals. Robinson has work to do in terms of making his game more consistent from the perimeter, but there’s no questioning his elite athleticism.
Hoosier fans have often griped about Cody Zeller’s touches this season, but a re-watch of the final minute and a half of Indiana-Michigan reveals this simple fact: IU’s last five possessions were all about getting its big man the ball.
The first two didn’t end so hot: A quick entry pass from Yogi Ferrell on the right wing to Zeller on the right block resulted in a turnover — the ball going out of bounds. The second possession was again a pass off the right wing. Victor Oladipo entered the ball to Zeller, who was set up down in the right corner. A move to the middle of the lane resulted in a travel call for Zeller and IU was on the ropes.
But the Hoosiers stuck with it, running similar action on the last three plays, all resulting in Zeller scores. It was enough to top the Wolverines by a point and win an outright Big Ten title.
A look at these three scores in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. Ferrell streaks down the right side of the court. Oladipo is in a familiar spot in the corner. Christian Watford trails and heads to the familiar left wing. Like we similarly saw on the Ferrell entry pass turnover, Zeller comes over from the left block as Jordan Hulls looks to get a body on Jordan Morgan to set a screen for Zeller and free him:
Hulls gets some body on him and there appears to be a small window to hit Zeller on the right block:
But Yogi decides against it. As he brings the ball back up a bit, we see some secondary action, as Watford sets a screen for Hulls to try and free him up top for a 3-pointer. Zeller is also trying to make himself more available up near the right wing:
Indiana wrapped up the regular season on Sunday afternoon with a come-from-behind 72-71 thriller over Michigan at the Crisler Center. The victory gave the Hoosiers an outright Big Ten championship for the first time since 1993.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s win over the Wolverines:
· Zeller plays the role of closer: Most of the debate for Big Ten player of the year coming into Sunday centered around Trey Burke and Victor Oladipo. Cody Zeller, however, came into the game as the leading scorer and rebounder on the conference’s most successful team and IU’s star sophomore proved just how dominant he can be in the game’s final minutes. Oladipo closed the door on Michigan State last month in East Lansing and on Sunday, Zeller seized the opportunity and scored IU’s final six points in 52 seconds. His final basket with 13 seconds remaining gave the Hoosiers the lead for good at 72-71. Afterward, Oladipo endorsed his friend and teammate for the league’s player of the year award. “Cody, Cody, Cody Zeller should be the player of the year,” Oladipo said. “If you guys don’t give it to him, no disrespect, but there’s something wrong with y’all.” While he’s unlikely to beat out Burke or Oladipo, Zeller gave voters something to think about on the season’s final day.
· Led by Oladipo, Indiana owns the glass: The Hoosiers knew they didn’t rebound the ball well enough in Tuesday’s loss to Ohio State and dominated Michigan in the rebounding battle all afternoon. Indiana rebounded 57.1 percent of its misses and Oladipo led the charge with seven of his game-high 13 rebounds coming on the offensive end. In all, IU finished with 24 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points, a fact that was not lost on Michigan coach John Beilein. “I thought we defended them very well at times, most of the time but we just let them crash three or four guys and somebody always seemed to be missing someone so the rebounding was a huge part of this game,” he said. “It’s a shame when we defend so well and they just walk in and get a layup. It happened over and over.”
· Sheehey bounces back from poor Ohio State game: Indiana has proven to be a resilient team all season as proven by the fact that the Hoosiers have bounced back from every loss with a win. Not only was the story of IU bouncing back as a team present on Sunday, there were also individuals who avenged poor performances from Tuesday. Will Sheehey shot just 1-of-6 in IU’s loss to Ohio State and for the first time I can remember this season, he wasn’t the first man off the bench. Maybe that served as extra motivation for the IU junior or perhaps it was just a proven scorer finding his touch after an off night, but Sheehey’s 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting were pivotal.